Karla’s Korner: My Sister….My Friend
My Sister….My Friend.
Once in a while, quite often when it’s least expected, we meet someone who changes our lives and makes it better. As I sit down to write this article I am not in my usual writing spot. As a matter of fact, I am 450 miles away from my comfy chair sitting on the guest room floor of my brother and sister-in-loves home. The house is quiet and the Cincinnati sky is filled with sunlight, songbirds and a cool spring breeze that comforts my soul as I prepare to leave for home. It is here that I reflect on a weekend filled with love and laughter. I am tired from this whirlwind trip but filled with a deep sense of peace and gratitude for the blessings of my hosts. They welcomed me with open arms and hearts proving once again that distance cannot stand in the way of relationships.
As a young girl I always wished I had a sister; someone to play with, laugh with, share secrets and a life story together. That was a wish that went unfulfilled; until now. I rely on my faith in knowing that my Creator had something greater in store for me; I had to wait until just the right time for the sister I needed. A year ago I met my sister-in-love Leslie in an ocean side hotel room in North Carolina. She had just become engaged to my brother-in-law Robert and I was anxious to get to know her. Her larger than life personality, warm embrace and infectious laugh filled the room and settled in my heart. In an instant I knew ours would be a special relationship that would only grow stronger in time; she would become my sister. When my mother –in-law passed away a few short weeks later it was Leslie who held my hand, wiped my tears and stood strong beside our family as we grieved; one would never have known she was a newcomer to the group. She was where she belonged. She was (and is) a perfect fit.
In the past year Leslie and I have shared many conversations, phone calls, emails and texts. We have shared pieces of our lives with one another knowing that we can rely on one another for encouragement, support, a shoulder to lean or cry on, a listening ear, a hand to hold or a place to keep confidences safe. We’ve shared our hopes, dreams, fears and a few glasses of wine. My life is better because she is in it. She is my sister.
As we celebrated Mother’s Day this past weekend I couldn’t help but think of Leslie and the six children she is “bonus mom” to. Leslie likes the term “bonus mom” because she knows that while she will never take the place of their mother, she has a lot of love, encouragement and support to give to my nieces and nephews; a bonus for everybody. Earlier this year I watched as Leslie sought out the latest Sponge Bob magazine for one niece, purchase a latte for the other and share excitement with my nephew as he won tickets at the arcade. Excited to share pictures of the Easter baskets she created for her bonus children it was apparent that each basket was filled with love; created with each one’s favorite things. Learning what her bonus children’s favorite foods are, which one is a vegetarian, each one’s likes and dislikes has been a priority for her. She shares her home and heart with them not out of obligation and duty but of love and sincerity; a lesson she learned from her mother Sweetie.
It’s not easy being the second wife, the bonus mom or the new “Mrs.” in the family, but Leslie has handled her new role with grace, dignity and elegance. When she speaks it is with purpose. When she laughs she laughs from the depths of her soul, when she listens it’s with focus and when she loves she loves from the deepest corners of her heart. As we continue our journey as sisters and friends I am thankful for the gift of Leslie and the shining example she is to so many. I am thankful for my sister, our journey and a future that lies ahead of us as we continue to develop and grow as sisters and friends. Sometimes what appear to be un-answered wishes, dreams and prayers is really a lesson necessary to learn patience and wait for the right relationship to develop. Life may not always be what you wished for, however, I believe that life exactly what you need exactly when you need it. For my sister Leslie, thank you being who you are, for shining your light for others to see the path, and for loving my nieces, nephews and their dad the way you do. Wishes do come true; I know this because God gave me you.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!